When it comes to exercise, it is always incredibly important for you to do your warm-ups. When you try to exercise without warming up, it can be unsafe and you risk pulling a muscle, or even getting a more serious injury.
Warming up also wakes your body up and gets it into a state where exercising is a lot easier to fall into. There are lots of different kinds of warm-up exercises that you can do, but we’re here to talk about hip flexor-focused warm-ups specifically.
If you want to learn how to do these exercises for yourself, then you have definitely come to the right place!
We are going to go over everything you need to know about hip flexor-focused warm-ups to help you improve your flexibility and get you ready for your other exercises!
What Is A Hip Flexor Focused Warm Up?
The hip flexors are a type of muscle that can be found in your body and it is usually a muscle that most people either don’t know about or don’t give much thought to.
The hip flexors are directly responsible for the strength and performance of your lower body, so this includes your lower back and legs. How you treat your hip flexors will directly impact how you train and what sort of speed you go at.
Hip flexor-focused warm-ups are usually quite basic and there’s nothing too fancy about them. But the warm-ups are basic because you have to make sure that you are doing them right in order to get any benefit from them.
There are plenty of hip flexor-focused warm-ups out there for you to try for yourself, and we have put together a list of some of them that you can do for yourself. So read on to find out a bit more about them.
Types Of Hip Flexor-Focused Warm-Ups
There are plenty of hip flexor-focused exercises and warm-ups out there, so even if one doesn’t work for you, you can try one of the many others instead. Below, you will find a list of different hip flexor-focused warm-ups for you to try.
We have also included instructions on how you can do them, so even if you have never tried them before, you should have no issues in learning them for yourself.
- Begin by standing with your feet apart in line with your hips.
- After you have done this, take a single big step back with your right leg and make sure to plant the ball of your foot on the floor. For this stage, also make sure that the heel of your foot stays lifted. Bend both of your knees while you do this and lower your right knee to the floor.
- Now, step your right foot back to the front.
- Repeat this exercise at least 10 times with your right leg, and then another 10 times with your left.
Note: When you lunge back, you should feel a stretch in your right hip flexors. You also want to make sure that when you are doing your back lunges, you keep both of your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Begin by standing with your feet a hip-width apart. You can also go slightly wider if you wish.
- The aim of this exercise is to do slow and controlled circle motions with your hips, so this is what you want to do next.
- Do this motion 5 to 10 times in one direction, and then switch sides and do it in the other direction.
Note: If you keep your tailbone slightly tucked when doing the circle motions, you will feel more of a stretch in your hip flexors.
Lying Down Leg Extensions
- Start by laying on your back in the same position you would if you were doing a glute bridge.
- Extend your right leg out as long as you can. You need to make sure that your left leg is bent, but the right leg needs to be as straight as possible.
- With control, kick/lift your right leg as high as you physically can. Then slowly lower it back onto the ground.
- You then want to repeat this at least 10 times with your right leg. Make sure you use controlled motions and then switch over to the left leg and repeat.
Note: If you want to make this exercise harder, you can actually do lying down leg extensions while you are in a glute bridge! It is also important to know that if you have tight hamstrings going into this exercise, then it is going to feel physically hard to do this warm-up.
This is why it’s important to take it slow and make sure you use controlled movements. Remember, you are aiming to engage your hip flexors here more than your actual legs.
- Begin by lying on your back. Make sure that your knees are bent and your feet are planted firmly on the ground about hip-width apart near your butt.
- Tuck your tailbone in and really engage your core now towards the ceiling.
- Press into your feet and use the momentum to press your hips up towards the ceiling. It is important to keep your abs engaged for this step and keep your tailbone tucked.
- You should feel your glutes engaged, so when you do, slowly lower your hips and butt back onto the ground.
- For this warm-up to be effective, repeat it at least 10 times.
Front Leg Swings
- For this exercise, you first need to stand next to a wall. You can use a chair or a pole for support instead if you would prefer.
- Reach your hand out onto the wall for support.
- Next, swing your right leg both forwards and backward. You want to keep your leg as relaxed as possible while you do this.
- Start with small swings, but as you get more comfortable, you can make the swings bigger.
- Do this 10 times on the right leg and then do it 10 times on the left leg. Remember to keep your leg as relaxed as possible throughout the exercise.
Note: The most important thing to remember when doing this exercise is to keep your leg as relaxed as possible. Take the warm-up slowly and begin with smaller movements before you start to use wider ones.
Front Leg Extensions
- Start by standing with your legs straight and make sure to keep your feet hip-width apart.
- Shift all of your weight onto your left foot. This will make it easier for you to lift your right leg in front of your body. When doing this, try and keep your legs straight.
- You will want to repeat this 10 times when doing right leg lifts and you will then want to repeat the exercise on your left leg 10 times too. You need to take this exercise slowly and steadily to make sure that you are using controlled motions and lifts.
Note: When you are kicking higher for this exercise, you might feel your other leg wanting to bend as you kick higher, but it is super important that you don’t let it!
By keeping your legs straight, you will be engaging both your hip flexors and your quads, so it is incredibly important to avoid letting that leg bend.
If it does bend though, it’s ok, you can just start again. It might take you a few tries to train your leg not to bend, but it will work eventually. Just be patient!
Back Lunge + Knee Lift
- Start this exercise by stepping your right foot back into a normal back lunge.
- Instead of stepping your right foot forwards to meet your left, you want to then step forward and instead lift your knee up to your chest.
- If you need a bit of extra balance, you can touch your right foot to the floor next to your left foot.
- Once you have done this, simply step your right foot back down next to your left, but you can also step it straight back into the back lunge.
- Repeat this exercise at least 10 times on each leg.
Benefits Of Training Your Hip Flexors
There are many different benefits that come with doing these hip flexor-focused warm-ups. These exercises help with a number of different issues, so let’s take a very brief look at what sort of benefits doing these warm-ups has.
Helps With Lower Back Issues
Hip flexors are a type of back stabilizer, so when you do these exercises, they can actually help with any lower back issues you might be suffering from.
The hip flexors are a connector between the upper and lower body, so exercising them regularly can definitely help to improve the lower back area.
Improves Hip Mobility
Of course, with a name like “hip flexors,” you would assume that it has something to do with the hips, which of course it does! Doing hip flexor-focused warm-ups and exercises regularly can actually drastically improve hip mobility too.
This means that if you are doing a lot of exercises such as squats or deadlifts you are going to find them a lot easier and more manageable than someone who doesn’t do any hip flexor-focused warm-ups.
Helps With Running
Hip flexor-focused warm-ups really help with mobility, and when you do them regularly, you will be able to run a lot easier than someone who is not regularly doing hip flexor warm-ups and exercise.
If your hip flexor is tight or weak, it will have a hard time going into full extension, which in turn will slow you down. But when you do regular hip flexor-focused warm-ups, you will be building up the right stamina and strength to ensure you can run properly.
Warm-ups are essential when you are exercising or training, and hip flexor-focused warm-ups are incredibly beneficial. They will help you increase your flexibility and mobility and they will make harder exercises a bit easier to do.
Most of the hip flexor-focused warm-ups we have included here are quite easy to learn, so even if you have never attempted them before, you should have no issues learning them for yourself.
Next time you want to warm up your hip flexor muscles, try some of these warm-ups out!